Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Optomist and the Realist

When we left home in March to spend a month in the States, we arranged for some friends to stay in the upstairs of our house while another friend did some construction work on the downstairs. It was a bit impulsive on our part, and we knew that Alfredo would need to work hard to finish everything which needed to be done in the time available. A month is just not a lot of time when you're working alone on a kitchen remodel! Alfredo was confident, though, so we charged ahead.

What's that expression? Something about angels and fools and rushing???

I was very optimistic, but not ridiculously so.   After all, I was not imagining this...
The Perfect-World Kitchen
I was simply looking forward to having paintable walls, a downstairs bathroom with a door, a sink which drained. Simple things.

Sarah, always the one with her feet firmly planted on tierra firma, told me to picture something more like this...
 The Worst-Case Scenario 

I told her to stop being a pessimist.

I firmly looked forward to having the interior walls of the downstairs "stuccoed" when we came home. We even brought paint and flooring which was gifted by a friend in Tucson. I was very ready.

Doug called Alfredo a couple of days before we were scheduled to head home. It turns out, Sarah's estimation was closer to reality. We waited a couple of days to return, giving Alfredo time to finish. Prolonging the agony, really.
Two days just weren't going to make that much difference. Sigh.
So, for the past month we've been half-camping in the conference center. It is definitely a multipurpose facility!!!
Seth and Sarah goofing around in our "upstairs kitchen". 

Of course, we don't have water in the center, so we've been utilizing our lavadero a LOT!!!
But now, the end is in sight! Hurrah!!!
Everyone has been pitching in to help finish this project. It was just a huge undertaking for one guy working alone. Once we got home and could put in our hands, the work went faster and by last week, Alfredo was putting up the bathroom wall and Doug was wiring in electrical fixtures. Yay!!!

Anxious to finish, we didn't waste any time getting ready to paint. Doug dumped the various cans of paint we were given into a big tub and Andrew started stirring.

To be honest, at this point I didn't much care what the final color would be, but I must say I'm extremely happy with the color and with the paint! I just love American paint!!!

Even the neighbors got involved!  Becca came over asking if we needed help and then Cruz, from our home fellowship group, stopped in. 

Many hands make light work!!!
This would be Evie. As the smallest member of the painting crew, she was nominated to paint under the stairs. She didn't mind too much!
Proof that I actually did something besides take pictures! hehehe 

Pictures of the finished product? Not yet! Tomorrow we plan to give the kitchen a final coat and then the painting will be done. Lord willing, we will pull the wooden frames off the cement counter on Wednesday and then put the downstairs back in order...just in time for a men's fellowship on Saturday! Never a dull moment around here, eh?

 Well, at least now you have an idea of why I haven't posted during the past month. We haven't let the construction slow us down much. It's just life, afterall, and life does go on! I'm so blessed that we are able to set up our "kitchen and dining room" in the conference center. A friend here is in the middle of a similar kitchen face-lift. Half of her belongings are in the front yard. No more complaining on my part!

I'm off to write a post about something more interesting now. Check back in for photos of our new kitchen in a couple of days!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Travelers...again

This is what happens when one fails to post for a couple of months: I log on to write a post, and Blogger has changed EVERYthing, so I have to spend half-an-hour trying to figure out how to post all over again.

Not cool, guys. Just sayin'.

Anyway, I'm still alive. We're home from furlough. God is faithful! :^)
Following are 10 pics from our time in the US in March. You might say it's a "Top Ten List" of sorts, but I wouldn't say that their the 10 best photos I took. How can I choose 10 out of the...ahem...several hundred that I have?
Sorry if the literary value isn't very high on this post, but the pictures should be entertaining at least! Provecho!
See! You're entertained already!

We drive over 5000 miles every furlough. That's over 80 hours in the car. You've gotta do something to pass the time!
Had a great time in Kansas with Grandma and Grandpa Jack, Uncle Terry and Aunt Tammy and all the cousins -- including this little preciosa, Ada Leigh. We decided that it wasn't long enough and we need to plan more frequent family get-togethers. (At the rate we've been getting together in the past, our next would be Ada-Leigh's high school graduation. Unacceptable.
Grilling with Grandpa -- always a success! You can see by the look of ecstasy on Caleb's face that the way to his heart is truly his stomach!
I love American rest stops. I was so excited to see actual grass at this rest area in Texas that I laid down in it. I exclaimed, "Grass without huachapotis! Hurray!!!" (that's an evil Mexican cockleburr) When I stood up, the kids all laughed at me: my whole backside was covered with tiny, green sticktights. Sigh. Can't win.
Made it to Tucson -- here are the kiddos with the youth group at Saguaro Canyon EFC, one of our supporting churches. We always have a wonderful time with our adopted family in Tucson, AZ. They spoil us!
God even sent us a special present while we were in Arizona -- Snow!!! It was short-lived (a good thing, since none of us even owns a heavy coat any more!), but it was beautiful and FUN!!!
Driving to Riverside to visit Grandma Freschauf and Magnolia Presbyterian Church. Ah, the benefits of the car-pool lane!
Thanks to an amazing miracle, we were able to take a little side-trip to Rancho Tres Cruces, which is the home of Master's Bible School. Doug and the director, Nate, spent time chatting about the school and about all the other things that missionaries chat about when you get them together.
Great time -- great families -- too short a visit!!!
Evie and Taiah pose with their favorite rockstar. Like they need extra caffeine! HA!
And then we headed home. But it wouldn't be a trip if we didn't have any car issues!!!
All right. Enough of that. We had a wonderful trip to the States. There's never enough time to visit with everyone we want to visit with and at the same time we're always so ready to be home.

I have now posted!!! YAY!!!